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Configurations of Interorganizational Relationships: A Comparison Between U.S. and Japanese Automakers


  • M. Bensaou

    (INSEAD, Boulevard de Constance, 77309 Fontainebleau Cedex, France)

  • N. Venkatraman

    (Boston University, School of Management, 704 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215)


This paper seeks to uncover dominant configurations of interorganizational relationships across the United States and Japan in the automotive industry. We integrate relevant theoretical concepts from transaction cost economics, organization theory and political economy to develop a conceptual model of interorganizational relationships based on the fit between information processing needs and information processing capabilities. This model is employed to collect data on 447 buyer-supplier relationships in these two countries. We empirically uncover a set of five naturally occurring patterns of interorganizational relationships. These configurations provide rich explanations of the complexity of interorganizational relationships as well as offer differential insights across United States and Japan. We discuss implications for further research pertaining to the logic and development of configurations.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Bensaou & N. Venkatraman, 1995. "Configurations of Interorganizational Relationships: A Comparison Between U.S. and Japanese Automakers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(9), pages 1471-1492, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:41:y:1995:i:9:p:1471-1492

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